[lit-ideas] crucial test: replace scientism with dentism

  • From: palma <palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:18:04 +0200

namely the access to dental science denies the humanity of having cavities
deal t with by reading pages of heidegger and his wife

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM, <cblists@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Here's an indication of why some people bother at all about Heidegger and
> his philosophy (a paragraph from Simon Critchley's introduction to _A
> Companion to Continental Philosophy_):
> "From a Continental perspective, the adoption of scientism in philosophy
> fails to grasp the critical and cultural function of philosophy; that is,
> it fails to see the complicity between a scientific culture and what
> Nietzsche diagnosed as nihilism.  What this means is that philosophical
> scientism fails to see the role that science and technology play in the
> alienation of human beings from the world through the latter's
> objectification into a causally determined realm of nature or, more
> aggregiously, into a reified realm of commodities manipulated by an
> instrumental rationality.  In a Heideggerian register, scientism rests on
> the false assumption that the scientific or theoretical way of viewing
> things - what Heidegger calls the present-at-hand - provides the primary
> and most significant access to ourselves and the world.  Heidegger shows
> that the scientific view of the world is derivative and parasitic upon a
> prior practical view of the world as ready-to-hand, that is, the environing
> world that is closest, most familiar, and most meaningful to us, the world
> that is always colored by our cognitive, ethical and aesthetic values.
>  That is to say, scientism or what Husserl calls objectivism, overlooks the
> phenomenon of the *life-world* which is the enabling condition for
> scientific practice.  Although such an anti-scientism *can* lead to
> obscurantism - which in many ways is the inverted or perverted
> counter-concept to scientism - it *need* not do so.  The critique of
> scientism, at least within phenomenology, does not seek to refute or negate
> the results of scientific research in the name of some mystical
> apprehension of the unity of man and nature, or whatever; it rather simply
> insists that science does not provide the primary and most significant
> access to a sense of ourselves and the world.  What is perhaps required
> here is what Heidegger referred to in _Being and Time_ as 'an existential
> conception of science' that would show how the practices of the natural
> sciences arise out of life-world practices, and that the latter are not
> simply reducible to the former."
> [Simon Critchley, "Introduction: what is Continental philosophy?", in
> Simon Critchley and William R Schrtoeder, eds. _A Companion to Continental
> Philosopy_, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998; p. 13]
> Of course, one does not have to side with either Heidegger or Husserl in
> order to be critical of 'scientism' - Adorno (with all of his antipathies,
> particularly to the former) immediately comes to (well, at least, *my*)
> mind.
> And one must be fair to the scientists themselves.  Not all are (or were)
> 'realists' when it comes to philosophizing about their endeavours; indeed
> some regard(ed) realism as an impediment to scientific progress (the
> 'parenthetical' past tense of 'regard' is prompted by thoughts of the
> debate between the early developers of quantum theory and Einstein; the
> former thought that Einstein's commitment to realism was a serious
> hindrance).
> 'Anti-scientism' (i.e., rejection of the view that science 'provides the
> primary and most significant access to ourselves and the world') is most
> definitely not automatically 'anti-science'.
> Chris Bruce,
> in Kiel, Germany
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